US consumers are one step closer to having a plant-based sunny-side-up egg with their breakfast, following Yo! Egg’s latest funding round.
The Israeli company raised $5 million (£3.9M) in an oversubscribed seed round, which it says will be used to support its ‘world first’ fried egg product’s debut in restaurants across the US later this year.
Yo! Egg was established in 2019 in Pardes Hanna, Israel, with the mission to become the world’s largest and most sustainable egg producer – without using chickens.
Where other companies are focused on plant-based egg products like egg replacers for baking or scrambles, Yo! Egg concerns itself with what it calls the “whole egg experience”, offering plant-based versions of fried, poached and boiled eggs.
The company describes the offering as: “Complete with a perfect egg white and runny yolk, for consumers who love the taste and texture of eggs but who would prefer a more sustainable and cholesterol-free option.”
Yo! Egg’s products are made using a mix of plant-based proteins, water, sunflower oil, soy, flour and “a few more simple ingredients” – the resulting product has a considerably smaller environmental impact than its avian derived counterpart.
“With over 95 billion eggs consumed every year in the US, and each egg requiring 53 gallons of water to produce, we need a better solution,” said Johnny Ream, Partner at Stray Dog Capital which was one of the venture capital firms to lead the funding round.
In keeping with the food industry’s increasing focus on the flexitarian consumer, Yo! Egg says its sunny-side-up egg will be a “strategic addition” to restaurant menus in the US. Currently the only place to buy a Yo! Egg product is in Israel at the restaurant chain Benedict.
The company stresses that this is the first big step of many. Yo! Egg CEO Eran Groner said: “The Yo! Egg team has a unique mix of extraordinary product innovation expertise and engineering talent that we believe will help our company revolutionize the way the world produces and consumes eggs.”
Groner’s start-up is one of several currently working on plant-based egg substitutes. San Francisco-based Eat Just has developed its own replacement using mung bean protein. The ingredient has recently received novel foods approval from the EU, and the product’s entry to the European market is expected soon.
Meanwhile German start-up Perfeggt has led a number of successful funding rounds to support the development of its plant-based alternative, and Le Papondu is launching its own plant-based egg substitute in France.